Pittsburgh’s Bicentennial Birthday Bash at HHC; Def Leppard, REO Speedwagon, and Tesla at First Niagara (Fri., 7/8/16)
1) Happy Birthday Pittsburgh! Hard to believe it’s only been 200 years since you were incorporated as a city in 1816. Oh well time flies when you’re having fun and making history as one of the world’s truly great cities! As you know, Pittsburgh, the the Pittsburgh Bicentennial Commission and the Senator John Heinz History Center are throwing a party in your honor replete with bands, food from the talented chefs of The Common Plea Catering, and yes, birthday cake. The Heinz History Center is filled with Pittsburgh history and artifacts and will be unveiling the new exhibit: “Pittsburgh: A Tradition of Innovation.” Bands on tonight’s bill include Joe Grushecky and The Houserockers (a real no brainer), Billy Price Band (another great one), Etta Cox Jazz Trio (alright!), and the Move Makers Band (let’s dance). Mayor Bill Peduto will be there too. Get your ticket now and tell your friends to come on down for a fun night. 7 p.m. 1212 Smallman St., Strip District.
2) A top-selling classic glam-rock band, Def Leppard, will be in the ‘Burgh tonight. Def Leppard is one of only five bands that have had two original studio albums with sales of over 10 million each. The others sharing this distinction are The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, and Pink Floyd. Top songs like “Photograph” and “Pour Some Sugar on Me” account for Def Leppard’s massive success. Also on the bill is REO Speedwagon, who first achieved success with their 1978 album You Can Tune a Piano but You Can’t Tuna Fish, which contained “Roll with the Changes” and “Time for Me to Fly.” Their ’80 release Hi Infidelity had four singles that went on to become major hits. Tesla formed in Sacramento, California in the 1980s but started hitting their stride in the early ’90s with a tight band, the rich vocals of Jeff Keith, and ability to craft some popular power ballads. Tesla’s best known songs include “Love Song,” “What You Give,” and “Signs.” 7 p.m. First Niagara Pavilion, 665 Rt. 18, Burgettstown. (RH)
3) The Deutschtown Music Festival may raise questions among those from outside the North Side, the biggest of which will arguably be: Pittsburgh has a Deutschtown? Yep, also known as East Allegheny, Deutschtown is the neighborhood located east of the Children’s Museum and Allegheny Commons Park. The main business-district street, East Ohio, is home to some lively bars and restaurants, many of which will serve as venues for the festival.
Now in its fourth year, what was once a one-day, Saturday event has now spilled back into Friday night as well. The festival showcases some top Pittsburgh bands. Deutschtown’s borders are porous, so expect a few great groups from out-of-state, too. Here’s a quick cross-section: The Annajames Band will be one of the first groups to perform, at 5 p.m. on Friday at the Park Stage. Slim Forsythe and his band, which includes noted drummer Brad Smith, will play 9 p.m. Friday at Scratch Food & Beverage. Emerson Jay, who recently opened for Haim, will play the last show at The Modern Cafe Saturday at 11 p.m. Bluegrass, punk, rap, rock, and other genres will all be represented. Some of the venues, like Penn Brewery, are located just outside Deutschtown. For a complete list of venues, and the acts playing therein, be sure to check out the festival’s website. Food trucks will be on the scene as well as art installations. East Allegheny Community Council hosts. 4 – 11 p.m. Friday, July 8 and 11 a.m. – 2 a.m. Saturday, July 9. Free. Deutschtown (East Allegheny), North Side. (CM)